Emergency on the Fury

A soft chime sounds mere minutes after Aurora and Julian have begun to explore beneath the white dome, after Ariaunna has started to eat her sandwich, after Avarya has completed her shift to leopard-shape and curled up unobtrusively in one corner, her tail tucked over her nose. "ALERT: Princess Fiona has collapsed on the bridge. Med-scans indicate biologicalcardiac arrest is in progress. Nanotech med-bots dispatched as per medical protocol 47.1.2.B." A slightly different AI voice says, this one harsher and darker than the cool bright soprano of Tisiphone. "We require orders from biological crew. Please advise."

Aurora was on her feet and moving; all traces of softness replaced by the edge of command. "Biological crew with med training needs to be in attendance. Quarantine for Aurora and Julian canceled. Prepare Med Bay for emergency use." She didn't even ask as she laid on hand on Julian's shoulder and attempted to teleport them both to the bridge. They had breathed the air in the gardens of Mandorways hours ago; if they had contracted anything, they should have known something by now. They could always be put back into stasis after the crisis has passed if necessary.

"Negative." The harsh and inflexible voice replies, even as Aurora's spell fails to breach the walls of translucent energy. "Quarantine cannot be breached until it is complete."

"She's going to die!" Aurora barked tersely. "If Fiona dies without finishing that Trump drive, so will the rest of us! Quarantine isn't going to do a whole lot of good if we're sucked into the event horizon!" She pinches the bridge of her nose and starts to pace impatiently. "She needs oxygen and help breathing it — and an electrical pulse to kick her heart back into a natural rhythm. How long until the med-bots reach her? How much longer are we going to be stuck here," she stops and directs her ire at the ceiling; "and why the hell can't the med sensors tell if we're infected or not?!"

There are two heartbeats of silence. Then the harsh AI speaks again with unhuman inflection. "Nanites are enroute. ETA is 10 seconds. The protocols are clear. We must provide medical assistance. We must obey the orders of the senior conscious officer. Yet we cannot release quarantine until the initial infection phase of at least 12 hours is complete and infections are entirely visible to med-scans. This is a logical conflict that we cannot resolve. Please advise."

"Encounter suits. Make something tight fitting so we're not clumsy and we can use our hands. We'll need respirators, not full tanks, just something to filter our emissions." Julian offers. "Do it in a damned hurry. She may not be my sister, but I didn't come across the millennia to watch more of the blood of Amber die. Do it now."

"Do it," the Empress commands with Fiona-like terseness. "Now."

There is no further communication from the AI: instead, the floor bulges upwards around them both, and they are sprayed with fluid, that feels like millions of ants scurrying about on their skins. At the end of that, they are both encased in what looks and feels like flexible crystal, yet breathing remains no trouble. Seconds after that, rainbow light again flashes through their surroundings. They find themselves… elsewhere.

Julian knew that something would happen, he just did not expect the ship to respond in such a fashion. At first, he nearly sprang backward and went for his sword where it rested with his other gear, but Aurora's lack of alarm, and the odd tickling sensation force him to stand still and wait. When it is done, he nods. "Impressive." And blinks for a moment when they disappear in a flash of colors and and reappear in some kind of ready room.

The place is familiar to Aurora but not so to Julian. A large chamber with chairs and tables, dominated by the massive display-screen, that is currently displaying plans for a series of satellites in orbit around a craft that is identical to the battlestation. On the floor in front of the display, is a small redhead woman: Fiona. She appears to have hit her head on the floor as she fell, for there is blood, a shocking red even in comparison to her firegold hair. Without her fiery personality in evidence, she looks very fragile.

Aurora curses and darts to her grandmother's side, falling to her knees and sliding the last fee feet. "I need an oxygen mask, Tis!" she barks while her fingers seek the pulse point at the ivory throat, and then hopes that the gloves are thin enough to allow the action. She lays a hand over Fiona's heart, splaying her fingers and generating an electrical pulse of the amount she recalled from her studies on Earth as being appropriate.

"Julian, check her head injury."

He is already moving towards Fiona when Aurora gives her orders to the ship. "I need a first aid kit." He carefully checks Fiona's head injury, and her neck, looking for signs of a break or anything worse than a cut to the skin. "It always looks worse when its a cut on one's head." Julian explains softly, and likely needlessly.

While her neck is not sprained, the impact trauma to her head could lead to internal bleeding and brain damage, Julian would know from long experience.

"Come, Fiona, is this any way to greet a long lost inter-dimensional brother…wake up now, its been ages since I've heard that sharp tongue."

"Tis, give me a status a report on her vitals," Aurora orders. "Alert me to any changes."

Aurora cannot feel any pulse beneath her fingertip. though perhaps that is due to the layer of gleaming crystal that encases her fingers. Nor is there any sign of breath.

"C'mon, Grandmere," she urges quietly. "I can't lose you now. We still have to find Alexander — and Mandor." She speaks to Julian without looking up from her examination. "As soon as we're on our way home, she is going back into a cocoon. Even if I have to knock her upside the head."

And moments later, Tisiphone reports, her soprano emerging from thin air as always. "Detecting irregular heartbeat. Static discharge successful, nanotech assistance working to stabilize patient condition."

"Give me respiration and blood pressure," Aurora says, a worried frown marring her forehead. It took all the self restrain she had not to remove the glove that is between her and skin-to-skin contact. "I'll need to know when she's stable enough to move to Med Bay."

For the first time Aurora looked at what was on the viewing screen. She bit her lower lip worriedly. "Tis, how soon before Ghostwheel is fully recharged?

"Repairs and recharge will be complete in 5 minutes. Blood pressure and respiration displaying now." Tisiphone replies even as Kieran emerges from rainbow light, garbed in his own crystal suit. He eyes the scene before him. A smaller window appears in the display showing the satellites and the schematics, in which is displayed Thari figures, worrying to anyone with training in the medical arts.

"Dammit!" Aurora hisses at the display. "I need a syringe for an intracardiac injection of whatever is recommended in your database for use on a female of the Blood of Amber. Take into account her height, weight, and previous condition, and I need it NOW!"

She raises a hand to summon the Emergency Med kit from the wall across the way when she spies Kieran. There is a heartbeat of hesitation, but then she reminds herself of her task and summons the kit. She needs the oxygen mask. "Kieran, your assistance would not be remiss. She needs to be stabilized before we move her to Med Bay, and I am loathe to use a stasis spell on her in this state."

"Certes." Kieran said swiftly, and moved to assist. "What do you need of me?" The figures on the display grow worse.

Julian quietly lays his hand on either side of Fiona's head. "She has suffered blunt trauma to the head. I can't tell how bad, she could have a simple concussion or sub-dural hematoma. In any case, if those nanites can get to her brain, they should see about making sure there isn't pressure on it." He frowns slightly. "She can be moved, she has to be…but we'll need a stretcher that immobilizes her head and neck, regardless of whether or not she's stable." Julian looks around, "Can the ship produce an x-ray machine or an MRI anywhere?"

"Med Bay," was Aurora's tight reply as her eyes went back to the display. "Apparently the ship can just Trump us there, but she still needs immobilization. Tell the AI what you need, husband. They will provide if able."

As Aurora speaks the word 'husband', the expression of Kieran becomes briefly frozen, then an 'oh.. my.. god..' expression emerges.

"Kieran!" Aurora snaps to get his attention back to where it needs to be. "CPR. Now."

Julian nods, "She's already on the crystal floor. Hello?" He addressed the AI, "Can you extrude a stretcher directly under Fiona, with handles on all side, and supports to either side of her neck and head. Please include straps, we need to immobilize her. Can you make it float? That would be best, no jostling that way." Julian looked to Aurora, "Are you sure it will hear me?"

"Oui," she replies while turning her eyes back to Fiona and holding the mask over the other woman's mouth and nose. She makes an adjustment to the tiny controls on the side and starts forcing air into the downed redhead's lungs, doing the breathing for her. Aurora backs up just a tad to make room for a stretcher to appear. "They hear everyone, but even so they have been introduced to you already."

The faint hiss of air begins from the mask. The figures on the display grow slightly better. The floor starts to ripple slightly, extruding pseudopods of crystaline material, slowly shaping itself into a stretcher identical to the specifications supplied by Julian.

Aurora looks at the display and curses again. "Tis!" she barks. "I need that syringe!" The redhead splays her hands over Fiona's heart, but before she releases another charge, her brow furrows. "Hang on. Can't the cocoons heal her of this?" she inquires of the AIs.

Kieran applies himself methodically to CPR. "Affirmative." The severe AI replies. "But the cocoons are designed for long-term regenerative stasis. Constant usage as short-term medical care is not advisable."

"She's only been in it once for short term as far as I know," Aurora replies. "And we don't have a whole lot of options right now. Event horizon in less then ten hours. How long would it take to heal her completely of the injuries she has right now?"

"Complete healing would require 2 days, 2 hours, 57 minutes, and 32 seconds." The same AI replies. Kieran continues working on the CPR, clearly avoiding thinking about other things for the moment.

"Sonuva…," Aurura bites out. She looks over her shoulder at the readouts. Her eyes linger on the schematics of Fiona's Trump Drive design. "I need to know Ghostwheel's Trump capabilities and if he can help me complete this drive. I'm a witch, not a Trump Artist, but I think I'm going to have to give it a try."

A syringe floats across the chamber toward Aurora as she says this. "Ghostwheel is enroute to your locality." Says the AI.

"Thank you." Aurora lunges for it and snatches it out of the air. She holds it up to check it and prep it. "Stop a moment, Kieran. Hold her mask in place." She waits until he's out of the way, steadies herself, and injects the serum straight into Fiona's heart. Her head whips around to check the monitors on the screen again.

A sharp intake of breath occurs as the needles thuds into her chest. Fiona begins to struggle, to sit up, her green eyes opening slightly.

The heart-rate on the monitors escalates to normal levels, but yet has an arrhythmia to the beat.

"Unicorn… beautiful… I'm sorry…" She says, sounding incoherent before again her eyes close and she lapses back into unconsciousness.

Aurora is too startled to do more then blink.

Julian helps with Fiona and shakes his head, "She is the expert. I do not think that my abilities with the Pattern will matter, if Fiona has already discarded that as an option." He observes Aurora, and nods slightly when the needle is driven home properly. His eyes flick to the monitor, and his lips press together. "Perhaps a psychic contact, if she will allow it. We can use her Trump and press, both of us can, I have seen something similar work before. If we can touch her mind, perhaps we can get the answers we need to complete her work or —" Julian pauses for a moment, "Could we not find another Fiona? Just as there are other — Julians? Though, that sounds like a long term solution, and we need something more immediate."

"We would have to find another Fiona, and we don't have that kind of time," Aurora says tensely. "Even if there's one stashed here in the bowels of this station we would have to find her, wake her up, and explain every damn thing to get her up to speed on what we need."

"C'mon, work dammit," she mutters. She vanishes the used syringe with a wave of her hand. "And when it comes down to it, I am going to need a shot of adrenaline if I have to do too much more heavy lifting." She bites her lip pensively and looks at both of the men with her and opens her link to Ghostwheel through her bracelet. "I don't know if it's even feasible… Tis, Ghostwheel, I need you all to listen and calculate feasibility of proposal." Aurora takes a breath. "I saw something once, on TV. A crew member hooked himself into the starship's mainframe and could interface with the ship. If the AIs could pull that off, Fiona's body could be put into a healing sleep while her mind finished what she started. She could run calculations as fast as the AIs and the computer without having to wait for physical input. But I would want her permission to try before we did it. Because even if they could connect with her, there is no guarantee the AIs can disconnect her without harm when the time comes." Aurora looks down at her Grandmother and smooths her hair back from her face with her gloved hand. "Of course, it's possible if we can contact her through the Trump, that she can just download the information to me. It gives me a frightful headache, but since we've done it before, it might work. Before I could touch her and connect with her. In this damn suit, I can't do it that way."

"Similar experiments performed while we were built were not encouraging, Empress." The bright soprano of Tisiphone replies from thin air. The corner of the chamber begins to glow with translucent and firegold light.

Aurora has turned back to the monitors, frowning at the arrhythmia as if it is a personal offense. She catches the shimmer out of the corner of her eye and turns to it with a suspicious narrowing of her eyes.

"What then do you suggest? What is it that you are doing now?"

The silvery sphere of the Ghostwheel emerges from thin air, and the translucent firegold light subsides. "We will review and rebuild the equipment from the former experiments." Tisiphone replies.

"We may have done all we can for her here, for the moment," Aurora sighs. "I was never a cardiologist, only an emergency med-tech." She pushes herself to her feet. "Kieran, if you can go with her to the Med Bay and get her hooked up to everything, that would be grand." One more look at Fiona and she turns to Ghostwheel. "It is good to see you functional again. How much do you know about Trump, and can we finish the Trump Drive Fiona started?"

Kieran eyes her, draws breath as though to say something, then shakes his head. "Stable transport for myself and Fiona to medical, please." He says to thin air.

"Transport is enroute, Commander." The harsh and severe AI replies to him.

"I am equipped with the full library of known trump devices, Aurora." The silvery sphere that is the Ghostwheel replies. "From her schematics, the issue Fiona had is one of synchronization. Generating a trump field large enough to transport the battlestation requires numerous devices all working at the same precise moment."

A pause. "I would suggest a third option. From our exploration of the Black Sphere, biologicals can survive there. We could evacuate there in the event it is not possible to preserve the battlestation."

"I know," Aurora says grimly. "But I would prefer not to. Tis told me a while back that there were several thousand cocoons on this station. What of them if we abandon the station to the Logrus? Also we're just postponing the inevitable; That Dyson net is held together by Trump, from what I understand." She starts to run a hand through her hair and then remembers she can't and huffs in frustration "I am not understanding why the AIs cannot synchronize the process. A human may not be able do it, but the AIs and computers can operate at speeds we cannot."

"The Logrus is warping the local flows of time. The station is large. Each side is operating in another flow of time." The Ghostwheel replies. "For example, five seconds pass here for every second in Quarantine."

"We have several AIs," Aurora points out. "Can not they divide the areas to monitor and work out the time issues amongst themselves?"

"We would require seven AI." The Ghostwheel replies. "We have four. There is no time to birth another, even if biologicals would consent to allow the gathering of mental templates."

Julian looks at Ghostweel, "I am an Adept of the Pattern, and have expanded my use of it somewhat. Nothing at all like Fiona was capable of, but if that can be put to use at all, I offer it." The rest of the discourse was simply beyond his current experience, so he adds nothing to talk of Trump Drives and AIs. He was not a Trump Artist, or Theorist of any sort, though he could use them handily enough. Julian frowns slightly, disliking his lack of ability in this particular situation.

The Ghostwheel was silent for an instant after Julian made his offer. "Prince Julian, while the Pattern inside you is alien to this universe, it is older than any other Pattern that is currently available to us." The device said in answer. "The zone of stability your presence provides should be correspondingly greater. You may be able to exert your will to shield the entire station as we grow closer to the event horizon of the Logrus. I cannot say with certainty what the outcome of that would be." For an instant, the device sounded almost human, far more so than the station AI.

Aurora looks up in surprise at that. She hadn't even considered one Amber as being older then another. That would bear some study. Later. When they got out of this. But she filed the information about his zone of stability in the front of her mind.

Julian nods slightly, "I will do it. Just put me in the proper place and I will do what must be done." His pale gaze flicks to Aurora, and then back to Ghostwheel. "Call me when I am needed. I have come across thousands of years to find that which I thought long dead, persists, while there is hope — I will not falter." He nods again, "You will find me with Fiona. Medicine is something I understand."

The doors of the chamber slide open, and a small motorised cart with shock-suspension wheels itself inside. "If you will perchance aid me in lifting Fiona..?" Kieran speaks to Julian for the first time. Very politely.

She glances warily in their directions then gives Julian a slight nod. "I will be fine, bien-aimé."

Julian's pale gaze falls on Kieran, and he nods. "Of course." He turns to Aurora and returns the slight nod, "Be careful." Is all he offers, lest he return to find her built into the ship somehow. He turns back to Kieran, and says quietly, "On Three —- one — two —" He said 'three' and lifted with the other man, to set Fiona on the balanced cart the ship had generated.

On three, Kieran also lifted steadily, trying to ensure that no further movement occurred with Fiona's head and neck. The wheeled cart accepted her comatose form without movement, the suspension of it adjusting to the extra weight and remaining steady.

"I may require further assistance in the infirmary." Kieran says then.

"Understood." Julian replies, "It is where I intended to go."


TOCMedbay (Julian)Aurora the Physicist

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